How to choose the best social platform to reach your customers

How to choose the best social platform to reach your customers

By Dominique Sandwith

Posted on 21st February 2019

This post was originally featured in Your Business magazine

Are you running a business and wondering how to find time or knowledge to market your business online? According to a study by LeadPages, 47% of small business owners handle their marketing efforts on their own. So, you're not alone; almost half of small business owners have to juggle running their day-to-day business activities whilst ensuring that they are getting the word out about their brand.

Whether you are a retailer, own a dental practice, a tour operator or restauranteur – the options are endless when it comes to digital marketing platforms and how to use them. In order to figure out which ones to use and how often, you need to understand more about them.

Social platforms explained

■ FACEBOOK FOR BUSINESS has the biggest audience on the internet and is where most brands compete for customers’ attention.
■ TWITTER provides a short, succinct way to market to potential customers by sharing news and facts in two sentences or less.
■ INSTAGRAM & STORIES provides a visual way to represent your business and connect with consumers.

■ IGTV is a new kid on the block, with user-generated television for your phone using videos that are up to an hour long.

■ PINTEREST is ideal for a visual representation of your business (most popular with product offerings) or scrapbook style collection of thoughts.

■ LINKEDIN provides a way to connect with other businesses and potential employees.

■ YOUTUBE is the go-to place to keep your video content library.

■ MAILCHIMP is not so much a social network, but a useful tool for email marketing, which is key to a holistic content marketing strategy .

Pick your poison

Equipped with this knowledge, you now need to assess your business and see where your potential content would fit. Think about the type of content you will be able to create easily, and the resources that you have at your disposal. Remember that it needs to add value to your customers. If it seems like a stretch, it’s probably not wise to start down that road.


As an example, if you’re the owner of a dental practice you could realistically use Facebook (for case studies and success stories), Instagram (to show off your clients’ exquisite teeth), LinkedIn (to attract talented new dentists to your practise) and Mailchimp (to market the latest techniques and specials to your database). However, if you’re a ‘one-man-band’ as mentioned earlier, you probably don’t have time for all of that anyway.


Our advice is to stick to two social networks and do them well. According to a recent study by CoSchedule, the most effective strategy is to post once per day on networks such as Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, and up to 15 times a day to Twitter. And as you know, creating and scheduling content takes time and effort. Therefore, it’s better to stick to the ‘less is more’ theory. Choose two that you can handle, and post higher quality content less often, but be consistent.

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Plan ahead for simplicity's sake

With so many scheduling tools at your disposal, there really is no excuse not to post regular content across the platforms that you have chosen. Apps like Hootsuite, Planoly, Tailwind and Facebook for Business have made it easy for small business owners to spend one portion of time per week or month to plan ahead and schedule content all in one go.


That being said, this would mean that all of the content is created and ready to schedule at one time. Our advice would be to keep it simple. Repurpose content into various forms, linking back to the same section of your website, blog post or video. Ask yourself what your customers genuinely want to see or how you can add value to their lives. Have a conversation with them and make sure you don’t bombard them with sales posts that make them think you only care about making money.

"Our advice is to stick to two social networks and do them well. Stick to the ‘less is more’ theory. Post higher quality content less often, but be consistent."

Once your content is scheduled, you only need to focus on monitoring the platforms and answering any queries or leads that come your way. This is another reason why you don’t want to spread yourself too thin.


It’s also important to value your time and skill. If creating content and interacting with your customers online is not something you’re comfortable doing and it’s going to take you away from building up your business, invest in a good digital marketing team to ensure you have your bases covered. The cost is far outweighed by the peace of mind that your marketing is being done while you can focus on what you do best, whatever that is.

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Recently on the blog

Have you pledged a shoebox for Christmas yet?

“You know some of these kids’ faces light up when they pull out a toothbrush and toothpaste. They are so grateful for every single thing in their little box.”

When Tracey speaks about Operation Shoebox, you can tell it is more than just a side project for her – it is a matter of the heart. Although she has been part of the “shoebox” team for a few years now, this is the first year that she has taken the reigns completely. Established in 2006, this non-profit organisation delivers boxes of essentials and specially selected gifts to children’s organisations and old age homes in the Western Cape.

To date, Operation Shoebox has benefitted over 34 000 children and pensioners. This is an amazing feat for little organisation run by a team of 6 voluntary staff members who all have full time employment in other spheres.

The boxes are filled with things like toothpaste but also items for the pure enjoyment of the receiver. Tracey shares that her favourite thing about the project is the fact that people are not only given what they need, but what they want.  “It’s so special because I’m not treating you as a charity case, I am just giving you something that is special to you. It will belong to you,” she says, adding “It’s the idea that somebody did this especially for you – they picked you.”

Over the years she has thoroughly enjoyed seeing the joy on children’s faces and watching their reactions to the boxes. “I remember one year there was a little girl that had gotten a Barbie doll, she sat, I’ll never forget, on her bum on the ground and cradled it in her arm…” she takes a moment to compose herself, adding, “She just stared at it like it was the most amazing thing she had ever seen.”

That incident happened about four years ago, and every year more stories are added. Like that of Aunty Rosy, a lady around 90 years of age who got up and made an elaborate speech thanking Operation Shoebox. “She was so special, I am sure I still have those photos somewhere!”

The beneficiaries are organisations which has established relationship with Operation Shoebox over a number of years. Tracey shares that the relationship is something that they value and she tries to check in with the staff members of the various organisations at regular intervals. There are a number of different beneficiaries, including The Anna Foundation and Bezwini Centre for children with disabilities. Operation Shoebox is discerning about which organisations to partner with, making sure that that boxes are really benefitting those in need.

A few of us at Yellow Door have been involved with Operation Shoebox in our personal capacities over the years. One of our founders, Emma has pledged a shoebox every year since 2012! We decided that it was high time we got more involved with a cause that we feel strongly about, so are giving input on their marketing and creating content for social media. If you would like to join us in getting involved, read all about it in the section below.

How to be part of Operation Shoebox

The process is simple:

  1. Go to the Operation Shoebox website.
  2. Choose the name child or elderly person from the list and pledge to fill a shoebox.
  3. Look out for the email from Operation Shoebox confirming your registration and providing guidelines for what to include in your box.
  4. Make sure to drop your shoebox at one of the drop offs closest to you before 31 October.

 

Please adhere to the guidelines for boxes set out on their site. Operation Shoebox have distributed boxes for many years and any requests made are done so for specific reasons.

If you are unable to fill a box yourself, why not fill one as a family or group of friends? Better yet, have an office packing party and pack a box or four together. We guarantee it will be tons of fun.

Make sure to visit the Operation Shoebox website to pledge and find a drop off site near you.

Your little gesture could make a big difference to someone’s Christmas this year!